Donald Wollheim and the Ace Double Novel

In my last Kirkus column, I took a look at A.E. van Vogt, and talked a little about how authors in the 1950s began to adapt to changes in the publishing industry. By 1952, the publishing industry had shifted to paperback novels. One of the more memorable types of publication was Ace Books with their double novel series, which paired up two short novels in a single book. Futurian founder Donald Wollheim was behind this move, and helped to cement science fiction literature in the new paperback field.

Go read Donald Wollheim and the Ace Double Novel over on Kirkus Reviews!

Sources Used

  • Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction, Brian Aldiss. This book has some good information on the state of the publishing industry during the 1950s and 1960s, which helped with the background of this piece.
  • Double Your Pleasure: The Ace SF Double, James A. Corrick. This short pamphlet is a source that provided quite a few good details on the history of the Double novel series, from beginning to end. It’s not terribly well organized or written, but it’s an interesting source that provides some good data.
  • The Futurians: The Story of the Great Science Fiction “Family” of the 30’s That Produced Today’s Top SF Writers and Editors, Damon Knight. This title certainly fits the description here: Wollheim, a founding member of the Futurians, was behind the Double novels, and this book recounts some of the minutia and problems that Ace faced.
  • John Brunner (Modern Masters of Science Fiction), Jad Smith. This book is a new volume on John Brunner, and details some of his experiences behind the double novel series.
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